I keep thinking I’ve emptied myself out. That my sorrow and frustration have all been expressed, that my tears have all been cried.
There’s more. There’s always more. But there’s a reason the story that came to me was a dream sequence. When queer people are attacked I spend days feeling for the bullet wound in my body, searching my skin for bruises.
In the days after September 11, 2001, the streets of Manhattan were spooky and surreal. People were more likely to speak to strangers from under hooded eyes, and if a car backfired, everyone twitched. Hollow eyes, bloodshot from smoke, stared out of pits deep from not sleeping. Smiles were edged. Laughter was no longer free, but purchased at the price of forgetting, for a moment, the smoldering pit where the towers had stood.
I didn’t lose anyone close to me on September 11th. I just happened to be standing there when it happened. I didn’t lose anyone at Pulse Nightclub on June 12. I just happen to be queer. And the difference is that no one in my daily life seems to be aware this happened. Or maybe it’s just not relevant to them.
I feel moved to collect some links.
Anderson Cooper has their names.
(For a longer bit, with interviews, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfuvh0bCTyc)
“Why do we have Pride?” Matt Baume answers the annual question. For me that answer, which is also the answer to “What do we do when things like Orlando happen?” is summed up by this: “Refuse to be terrorized. Defy erasure. Make noise. Be queer. Go to Pride. Have pride.”
Rachel Maddow has some coverage, also calling back to past violence against queers. You can find that here, though I can’t seem to find it on YouTube: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/maddow-gay-community-in-us-forged-in-fire-704977475877
For a round-up of vigils, also check out this clip:
Some straight folks said some things, too. Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, but the absolute most moving thing I’ve seen is a clip you’ve probably already seen. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Awards acceptance speech. Which is a sonnet.
Another stand-out is Sam Bee, who rejects “screaming for seven minutes” in favor of a plea to take your guns: https://youtu.be/t88X1pYQu-I
Throw me your links. All your links. These are just the ones I’ve stumbled across in attempting to not see any.
And of course, the music.
I’m done being sad. Now I’m just enraged.